The Australian Federal Police have been forced to reopen two international bribery investigations because their original investigation has been found to be nothing more than a joke by the OECD. The AFP have a long and recent history of sweeping international bribery by Australian companies under the carpet. This includes but is not limited to the AWB / Saddam Hussein bribery scandal and the Reserve Bank of Australia bribery scandal.
This site follows the Federal Police closely because their criminal conduct of concealing crimes goes way beyond international bribery, such as covering up judicial corruption which I have written about previously with documented evidence. (Click here to read the post)
Firstly though, the two Australian companies concerned currently are OZ Minerals and Cochlear. It is only after international criticism by the OECD that the federal police have decided to reopen the case.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported in October it was ”seriously concerned” about ”extremely low” enforcement of anti-foreign bribery laws in Australia.
The leader of the Australian Federal Police’s special references unit, Commander Errol Raiser, told Fairfax Media last week: ”We are going to review a medical equipment case and [what the OECD called] the joint-venture buyout case.” (Click here to read more)
OZ Minerals are accused of bribing three board members in Cambodia of its joint-venture partner, Shin Ha, in 2009 when it bought the company. Oz Minerals paid the three board members $US1 million.
The OECD reported that :
”The AFP did not inquire into key matters that could have corroborated the allegations, such as whether the board members were indeed related to foreign public officials; the due diligence conducted by the company was sound; and the buy-out proceeds were channelled to the board members.”
It said the case ”concretely illustrates” concerns ”the AFP may have closed … cases before thoroughly investigating the allegations”. Now where have we heard that before?
Cochlear are accused of bribing Portuguese officials to win a tender to supply public hospitals.
The OECD reported 28 instances of alleged foreign bribery involving Australian companies, and criticised the actions of federal police and corporate regulator the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in many of the cases.
The Reserve Bank note-printing scandal is the only criminal prosecution since the anti-foreign bribery laws were introduced in 1999. (Click here to read more)
It must be noted that the federal police tried to sweep the Reserve Bank of Australia bribery scandal under the carpet but their hand was forced when The Age ran stories on the matter which in turn forced the Reserve Bank board to refer it to the Federal Police. I will do another post on it in th near future. (Click here to read the post I did on it in June 1011)
As for the AWB / Saddam Hussein bribery scandal, allegations that it was swept under the carpet are due to be tested in the Federal Court of Australia this year. The allegation comes from the then lead AFP investigator Ross Fusca. (Click here to read the post that I did last year) It is set down for hearing in Melbourne before Justice Kenny starting on the 27 May 2013 for five days. Given the OECD report and the Reserve Bank scandal I think the chances of it being settled out of court would be extremely high as the federal police will not want further dirty laundry being aired in public.
Add this to other scandals were the federal police have failed their duty, it is time for a Royal Commission into the federal police.
For those who do not know the federal police are headed up by Australia’s number one criminal Commissioner Tony Negus. He is guilty of covering up more crimes than the federal police actually solve.
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